According to a recent CNBC article, the credit card debt in the U.S. hit $1.08 trillion. (1) Many individuals contribute to this number, especially after the holidays. Christmas shopping, special dinners, and travel expenses pile up. While credit cards provide us with a way to afford some experiences, they may get out of hand if it’s not managed responsibly.

No judgment, we’re all guilty of this at some point. That’s why we want to share some common strategies used to manage and prioritize debt efficiently:

The highest-interest-first plan or the avalanche method

The highest-interest-first plan, also known as the debt avalanche method, focuses on paying off debts with the highest interest rates first. Prioritizing debts based on their interest rates can help reduce the interest fees accrued over time and save money in the long run.

The snowball plan

The snowball plan involves paying off the smallest debt first, while still making minimum payments on all debts.

Once the smallest debt is paid off, the amount that was being paid towards it is then directed to the next smallest balance, and so on. This method can be beneficial for individuals with multiple small debts and can provide motivation as smaller accounts are paid off, freeing up more money to put towards larger debts.

Other considerations

In addition to the above-mentioned strategies, other considerations include seeking help from a financial professional. These individuals can examine an individual’s financial situation and help create a debt management plan tailored to their specific needs.

 

If legendary investor Warren Buffett could give one piece of advice to young people, “it would be just to don’t get in debt,” he told a 14-year-old shareholder at the 2004 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. (3)

When establishing long-term financial objectives, debt can pose a hindrance to their achievement. It’s essential to minimize and, if feasible, eradicate debt. Wealth accumulation revolves around establishing robust foundations, and debt undermines these foundations.

There’s no need to be embarrassed about debt; instead, it’s crucial to proactively address and eliminate it. Engaging with a financial professional can assist you in devising a tailored strategy to address your debt potentially. Reach out and schedule a complimentary meeting when you’re prepared to commit.

Sources:
(1) McNair, Kamaron. “From Student Loan Forgiveness to Tech Layoffs, 7 of the Biggest Money Stories from 2023.” CNBC, 30 Dec. 2023, www.cnbc.com/2023/12/30/student-loan-forgiveness-tech-layoffs-big-money-stories-from-2023.html. Accessed 16 Jan. 2024.
(2) “Articles.” Equifax, www.equifax.com/personal/education/debt-management/articles/-/learn/how-to-prioritize-paying-off-debts/.
(3) kathleen_elk “Warren Buffett and Mark Cuban Agree: Avoid Debt at All Costs.” CNBC, 10 May 2018, www.cnbc.com/2018/05/10/warren-buffett-and-mark-cuban-agree-avoid-debt-at-all-costs.html#:~:text=If%20legendary%20investor%20Warren%20Buffett,it’s%20not%20a%20good%20idea.%E2%80%9D.
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This information is being provided only as a general source of information and is not intended to be the primary basis for financial decisions. It should not be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual situation. Please seek the guidance of a financial professional regarding your particular financial concerns. Consult with your tax advisor or attorney regarding specific tax issues.